July 19, 2007

Podcast / Interviews I've Enjoyed

I've heard some very interesting podcasts / interviews lately & instead of blogging about each one, I thought I'd just list them with a very brief note about what was relevant for cog sci.
  • WNYC's Radio Lab is a fun 50-minute show covering various aspects of science very loosely defined. I just listened to the show on Time from 2005, and it was a fascinating look into various aspects of people's perception of time. Hosts Jad Abumrad & Robert Krulwich speak with Oliver Sacks, Rebecca Solnit, Jay Griffith, and physicist Brian Greene.

  • ETA I found it ... There was a great interview recently on WHYY's Radio Times, with Marty Moss-Coane, about bonobos. "How do baboons relate to each other and understand their place in the world and what can we learn from them about human behavior? Penn researchers Dorothy Cheney and ROBERT SEYFARTH, who joins us in the studio today, have been studying baboons and monkeys in their natural habitat for over 20 years. Their work is documented in a new book, Baboon Metaphysics: The Evolution of a Social Mind. Radio Times, June 7, 2007. Archive no longer available.

  • Dr. Ginger Campbell, of the the Brain Science Podcast, recently interviewed Elkhonon Goldberg, author of The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind (Oxford, 2001). Interesting discussion of the pre-frontal lobes, and how they relate to the other structures of the brain. Campbell also discuss some ideas about why the left and right sides of the brain differ, as well as several important ways in which the cortex, and especially the pre-frontal lobes differ from some of the older parts of the brain.

  • The SETI Institute has a terrific radio show called Are We Alone; the SETI's mission is "to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe." They seem to like cognitive science, at least enough to have had a recent episode on consciousness called That Thinking Feeling (mp3). Show hosts Seth and Molly interviewed a bevy (?) of neuro* & *philo* folks, including Marvin Minsky, author of The Emotion Machine (Simon & Schuster, 2007); Nicholas Strausfeld, Neurobiologist at the University of Arizona at Tucson, who talks about how smart cockroaches are, and how he knows; and Susan Clancy, author of Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens (Harvard, 2005) (because of "sleep paralysis"?!

  • ETA ... Australia's All In The Mind offers another great episode, this time entitled Nature? Nurture? What makes us human? It's a podcast of the start of the 2007 Alfred Deakin Innovation Lecture series, and it features bits of Matt Ridley's lecture, in which he speaks about his book Nature Via Nurture : Genes, Experience, and What Makes Us Human (HarperCollins, 2003). Following his lecture, Natasha Mitchell speaks with Professor Robert Williamson A.O. and Rhonda Galbally A.O, for a fascinating discussion of the "nature vs. nurture" debate. note to former reference students: Dunedin features prominently. A print transcript of Ridley's lecture is available, as is a podcast, in addition to the All in the Mind podcast.

All shows are highly recommended!

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